Hybridization, polyploidy and the evolution of parthenogenesis in the Australian desert

Grant number: DP0771924

Abstract

This project considers the ecology and evolution of Australian animals that reproduce by parthenogenesis, i.e. without sex. These animals have long fascinated evolutionary biologists for the clues they provide about the role of sex in evolution. The Australian desert is a hot-spot for parthenogenesis, providing a unique opportunity to study the ecological and evolutionary forces favouring the loss of sex. Our research will exploit Australian cases of parthenogenesis to understand how genetic changes associated with the transition to parthenogenesis affect ecological success. This will significantly extend our understanding of both the role of sex in evolution, and of the evolutionary history..

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University of Melbourne Researchers